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Grilled Eggplant with Vegan Pesto


  • 4-6 petite eggplants, sliced into rounds

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil


  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp salt-packed capers, soaked and drained

  • 1 cup basil leaves (about 20 leaves)

  • 1 clove garlic

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or pepitas

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • Pinch of black pepper

  • 1 cup basil leaves (about 20 leaves)

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, more for a smoother pesto

  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

  • 2 oil packed sun dried tomatoes (optional)


  1. Make the vinaigrette: In a food processor, purée all ingredients together until smooth. Transfer vinaigrette to a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and pulse until well chopped. Add the basil and pulse until combined. With the food processor or blender running, drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until combined. For extra cheesy flavor, add 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast. For more umami, add 2 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Taste and adjust as desired. Transfer vinaigrette to a small bowl and set aside.

  3. Put eggplants on a baking sheet, brush each side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Set a grill to medium-high (alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat). Cook eggplant, flipping once, until slightly soft and browned, about 6 minutes.

  5. Transfer eggplant to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve with pesto on the side.

Picture and recipe adapted from: and


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